Steroids Found in Health Tea Sold in Japan For Hay Fever Relief

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Jamu Tea Black

Steroids have been detected in a health tea sold to relieve hay fever symptoms, the National Consumer Affairs Center has announced on Wednesday.

The center used a mail order website to purchase Jamu Tea Black — sold by Osaka-based Kohjuku — and upon testing, found it contained 3 micrograms per gram of dexamethasone, a type of steroid ingredient that is known to have side effects such as exacerbating infections and causing convulsions, it said.

The center was alerted to the product in January, when a doctor made contact to report an abnormality in the blood test of a female patient who had consumed the tea.

The woman’s test results reportedly improved after she stopped drinking the product.

When contacted, a person at Kohjuku said, “The person in charge is not available and cannot answer to your questions.”

The center asked the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the Consumer Affairs Agency to provide guidance to the operator, as selling a product containing dexamethasone without a license may violate the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device Law.

The center urges people who use the product to visit a medical institution and consult with a doctor.